I am addicted to...

I am addicted to...real estate!  So here I go laying it all on the table for everyone to see. I can even admit that I enjoy every facet of living in the world of real estate, from the design and architectural aspects, to the number crunching, the trend hunting, and the opportunities to meet new people and negotiate. I find all of it fun. Yes you read that right I said fun.

So on a recent two-day camping trip to Ocean Shores, I left my room, keycard in hand, to go look at what? Homes on the water. It was a blustery day but we hiked on the beach, letting the salty air rearrange our hair a few times as our dogs ran, and headed out to look at more, you guessed it, homes. Luckily my partner loves looking at real estate too – we saw some homes that were absolutely stunning and others that left us wondering, “what were they thinking?” My step-daughter Nia was less than thrilled about our excursions, her groans palpable as she played on her iPad but hey, I guess not everyone enjoys the same things.

I feel invigorated lately, as I received multiple offers on a starter home in Shoreline that sat for over 90 days with no activity 1.5 years ago, and as things move forward it has meant fun negotiations and deals on the table. I also got to show a barge on a dock on Lake Union, which was a learning opportunity in terms of selling vessels and a chance to be on the water. And speaking of water, I was also asked to look at my friends’ 36th-floor condo with floor to ceilings windows and unobstructed views of Elliott Bay north and Lake Union…a view deck ready for a cool afternoon beverage in the warm sun. And all of this is my job.

As if all that wasn’t enough, I had a condo listing on upper Queen Anne close this week and I also sold a parking space on lower Queen Anne. Yes..I sold a parking space, a piece of concrete, for $27,500! Then I met with potential buyers for an Escala condo that I have coming on the market, learned about their amazing children who are truly making a difference in our world in some wonderful ways, and I’m helping two folks find rentals for up to $7,000 in the greater Seattle area and believe it or not, it is actually hard to find rental inventory!

But I have to say, it is often the heartfelt work I get to do in real estate that truly inspires me. I have a friend whose father has been a realtor of his own business since, well let’s just say the beginning of time. He’s been a great person whom I’ve felt lucky to have worked with over the years and he has unfortunately been presented with some health challenges. His daughter asked if I’d mind helping out during his recovery and I said yes without a second thought. I want to ensure that his business continues to thrive as he heals, and it feels good to know I can help out a family that has been at my side when I’ve needed them over the years.

It has definitely been a fantastic real estate week and it feels good to celebrate the diversity, complexity, and all the “feel good” moments. So yes, I am a real estate addict…and I don’t plan on recovering from that anytime soon!

Heading Home...

Sometimes I find it odd that I’m in the business of selling homes but only feel as though I’ve ever lived in two real homes. After countless moves throughout my childhood, I’ve found that it takes time to turn a house into a home. It takes memories, of both positive and challenging times. I’ll be heading back to Dearborn, Michigan in a couple of weeks, where as they say I was “born and raised,” for my nephew’s graduation from the University of Michigan. My parents, both educators, started our family off in a post-WWII brick bungalow where I would live my first four years. It was a neighborhood that all kids loved, with homes filled with children of all ages so that we often roamed from one home to the next. We had one neighbor who raised Weimaraner showdogs and whenever there was a new litter I could be found in the middle of them, in total heaven. But just before I turned four, my parents told us we were moving into the new house they’d built. How could they take me away from my home? On moving day I stood defiantly on the hitch of the U-Haul trailer just knowing it would stop this whole thing. Alas, they couldn’t be dissuaded and we of course moved into our new…”home”. We built many memories in that new home and in fact it was only a few years ago that we sold it to another family after we’d owned it over 4o years.

So yes I have lived in many many houses…but only a few homes. I’ve moved 5 times in the last two years alone. Okay, one move was to Pretoria, South Africa and then back.  But for me, it can take a bit of time for the brick and mortar box with a roof to become a home. Just yesterday I went to my old house in Seward Park and took my black lab-“ish” dog Bear with me. This was our home and Bear’s first home and I was reminded of myself, standing on the U-Haul hitch.  It had been almost 2 years since I’d brought him there and I wondered whether he’d remember it and how he would act. As we drove down the single-lane road Bear began to whine and then went into a full, loud bark as I parked.  He jumped out of the car and bolted to the front door.  I could barely hold it open as he burst through and proceeded to run through every single room of the house…non-stop.  He then visited every single corner of the yard, tiring himself out enough to take up residence in his favorite spot, where the sunshine hits the travertine tile heated floor. He sighed, then fell asleep…he was home.

So, I am going home in two weeks to see my first home. Then it will be back to Seattle, where I live in a “new home”, one that we are living in as a family, to create memories, and make our house into our home…and I'm wondering, where do you call home?